Crowdsourcing Game Design Energises Consumers
An open innovation contest for a computer game increases fan engagement and results in new game segments.
Putter King LLC, Japan
The relationships between brands and their audiences are evolving as fans, followers and customers have the time, inclination and desire to become involved at a deeper level with their favourite companies.
Interactions with consumers are becoming a more significant component of a company’s success as the crowd plays an increasing role in research and innovation processes.
Businesses that take advantage of this through well designed and executed crowdsourcing initiatives are reaping the rewards of new ideas and increased exposure. Contests can engage and excite the crowd which generates hype and offers a major publicity boost.
One such company that understands this well is Putter King LLC the makers of Japan’s ﬁrst indoor miniature golf franchise and the popular iOS and Android miniature golf game 'Putter King Adventure Golf'.
Inside this popular 3D game players are taken to golf courses all over the world as they follow a character called Putter in his quest to become the ‘Putter King’. At each course players come up against some imaginatively designed holes that draw on their skill and dexterity.
In 2011 Putter King decided to give users a shot at deeper engagement with the game by asking the crowd to design and upload their most creative hole designs.
The Putter King Hole Design Contest 2011 invited potential participants to visit the Putter King homepage and submit their hole designs. On the site was a tutorial on how to design a miniature golf hole using the free 3D modeling software "Google SketchUp".
Submissions were voted on by the game’s community and the top 3 winning designs were incorporated in Putter King Adventure Golf for iOS and Android.
The winners were:
First place – Taki Eddine from Algeria for ‘Island Moai Statues’
Second place - Ananya Tawde and Kathy Ren from the US for ‘PK’s Crown’
Third place - Atharva Lobo from India for ‘Putter King Car Course’
Advantages of Crowdsourcing Contests
There a number of reasons why such crowdsourcing contests make a lot of sense and these include:
Talent comes looking for you - if you want some key tasks performed you can spend a lot of time trying to find the right kind of people with the right kind of skills. This can also be a very costly process. But with a crowdsourcing contents brilliant minds come searching for you, people that you may not have normally connected with through any of your other channels such as recruitment.
A good headhunting tool - when top talent comes knocking on your door you may want to work with them again on future projects.
It’s cost-effective - yes, there are the costs associated with setting up and organizing the contest but typically these are much less than designing a product yourself from scratch.
Ideas -when the crowd is firing on all cylinders you get quick and easy access to a lot of brilliant ideas.
Superlative work - members of the crowd are engaged in a challenge that could net them a good payday and some serious prestige, and therefore will give you the best of what they’ve got.
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